The 28th Māori Battalion: Returned Service Medals

Feb. 20, 2023, 10 p.m.

Research conducted by David Stone, a lawyer at Te Mata Law and proud descendant of Turi Dooley Swann of C Company, reveals the number of unclaimed medals, mainly belonging to soldiers in the A Company of the 28th Māori Battalion.

Upon finding out about the number of unclaimed medals associated with our most Northern soldiers, A-Company descendants met at the Leadership Academy of A Company in Whangārei to address these findings.

"Some didn't claim them; some didn't want them; some weren't contacted for many reasons; the medals were not issued,"
said Millan Ruka of Te Uriroroi and Te Parawhau whose father, Thomas Watson Ruka, fought in WW2 alongside the 28th Māori Battalion. Questions about why the unclaimed medals laid dormant for so long have still been unanswered.

Many descendants have come forward to claim service medals; however, more than 500 medals still need homes.

A formal ceremony was due to take place in Waitangi on February 18; however, due to the severity of Cyclone Gabrielle, the 28th Māori Battalion Waitangi Medal Ceremony was postponed.

Tags: 28th Māori Batallion returned service medals


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